Sunday, September 26, 2010

Week in Review

Calm before the storm, so to speak. I had meetings for most of the afternoon which made it difficult to respond to all the last minute IMA requests. But it all worked out. We had a full crew at bells and ended up shifting the tables down to make more room for the ladies manning the big bells. This put me around the corner from where I have been so I have a new view on things. I also end up shaking my bell right in Jane's ear for about 10 measures at the end of Sine Nomine, but so be it. :-)

OMG. Tuesday was the beginning of the next wave of cycle counts. We had divided WIP into three sections we thought would be manageable to count and reconcile in one day. Boy, were we wrong. We got through the first section on Tuesday and called it a day since we were already almost an hour and a half over our alloted time. I spent my afternoon out in the receiving office moving materials in the system. Then I hightailed it out of there to get over to Robbins for IMA. For the massive crowd we had coming, we were all pretty organized so things went surprisingly well. No one showed up without a reservation. We did have a few no-shows, but that's fine as most of them had prepaid. The panel was interesting, things kept moving at a good pace, and even with a board meeting I managed to get home at a reasonable hour - albeit still almost 15 hours after I had left in the morning. But whatever. Who's counting?

Day two of the cycle count. Not quite as bad as day one, but still, not the greatest. Once again, we majorly overestimated the amount of area that four counters can cover in four hours. Add to that a mini uprising among the material handlers and it was a teensy bit stressful. Not to mention the tension that continued to build in the receiving office. I know the accounting department has been perpetually ticked off at everyone for the past two months, but I think the receiving department might have us beat. Whew.

I got home a little after 5, fed some hungry kitties, and set about cleaning up the house a bit. Also caught up on some DVR shows. Weeks with IMA always tend to get behind.

Last day of cycle counting! This day went so well compared to Tuesday and Wednesday. We had an extra team of counters and they breezed through the main part of the warehouse. This even left us with time to circle back to a section that had been scrapped on Tuesday. Reconciliation is still somewhat of a problem, but I think we will be able to get it all done before next week's deadline.

While the counting went well, there was almost an all out drop 'em fight in the receiving office. It's not good. The inventory control group recently got incorporated into the accounting department instead of the logistics department and with no guidance thus far, everyone's kind of treading water. And some people are apparently close to drowning. Hopefully we get a chance to meet as a big group this coming week before they start to draw blood.

After work it was more catch-up. Thank goodness The Apprentice is back to a manageable hour-long format.

Vacation! Woo!

I spent my day off taking Carly to the vet and bumming around. This is the first time I've taken Carly as Adam usually takes the morning off and brings her in. I determined that she hates car rides, but will tolerate them better if there's music on. But not all music. Miss Kitty has a discerning ear. She appears to like Mozart, but not Dvorak. Hmm. Anyway, she yowled the whole trip there. Continued to yowl as we sat in the waiting room. When we got into the exam room she hopped out of the carrier and wandered around. She loves the attention the nurses and vet give her, of course. She didn't seem to mind anything they did to her except for the major q-tips in the ears. Even the shots didn't faze her. But then it was back in the carrier. She yowled a lot less on the way back home - I credit The Magic Flute for that.

Overall, she's in good health. But she managed to pack on almost 1 1/2 pounds in the last year. Whoops. So, the plan of attack is to limit her dry food (hello carbs) and increase her wet. Also, we are supposed to try to get her to move around more. This entails shutting the other cats up for a few hours each day so she'll get her butt off the refrigerator more. So far she hates me for her limited food, but she did spend a good chunk of time by the patio door and other areas in the living room Saturday night.

After Adam was done with work we did our weekly shopping and stopped at Erbert and Gerbert's for dinner.

Since we did our shopping Friday evening, we spent Saturday morning watching Invictus. My reaction? Too much rugby. Adam pointed out that it's a movie about rugby. True, but so boring! Just one movie left on the list - The Secret of Kells, which looks to come out on 10/5. After getting ready to face the day, we headed up to Green Bay. Adam wanted a throwback jersey so we made a stop at the Packer Pro Shop. (It's a Monday night away game so that wasn't as crazy an endeavor as it might have been.) Then we went to lunch. We had planned to go to Olive Garden since we had a gift card but it was mucho busy so we went to Golden Corral instead. I don't know why. I admit it was my idea, but I don't know what possessed me. Buffets scare me, but I've been craving Golden Corral for awhile now so I just indulged myself. It was not good. Live and learn. I'll stick to Chinese buffets again.

After lunch we stopped at Adam's grandma's for a while. A quick stop at Seroogy's, Breadsmith, and then back home. We opted to skip dinner and just snack since we'd had kind of a late lunch and then too much chocolate at Seroogy's.

Adam's gone all day at a golf tournament. We watched Project Runway this morning as it had failed to record on Thursday so I had to catch the first re-run which was 10pm last night. DVRs are wonderful, but only when the information on the TV is right so it records! Grrr. Anywho, now I'm working through my to-do list: some cleaning, some baking, and some work. Boo for work. But this week is going to be nuts and I've got to get New London under control!

So far this morning I've got a load going in the dishwasher, laundry is started, and the cat room is cleaned up. Left to do? Cleaning my bathroom, washing our sheets, making the weekly dessert - Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies, purging the file cabinet in the office (one of the metal bars fell off because there's so much crap in the drawer!), making the dinner from last night (have to use up the turkey since it's defrosted), a few more blog posts in the works, and work stuff. Boo for work (again.) What I wouldn't do for a boring week...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Photographic Memory: Nerd Alert!

In an Austin Power voice, of course...

Who else but a nerd would be caught dead in these pants?

Or wearing this outfit?

Posing for a "student of the month" photo in 7th grade?

And not once...

But TWICE in 1998?

And, really, who else but a major nerd would go to school with her hair in pigtails during March of her senior year?

What a nerd.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Martha's Top Ten: Kitty Edition

Having four cats makes you aware of all the crap out there for pets. Here are my top ten kitty-related things:

10) Infinity Vacuum with pet care system:

Four cats means a ton of cat hair. Everywhere. This vacuum has good suction and comes with a bunch of tools to clean hair off of various surfaces. I'd guess. I don't vacuum any more than I have to, but Adam seems to like this one.

9) Feather teaser wand:

This toy is good for getting kitties out from under the bed. Also hilarious when Adam attached it to a fishing pole and flung it across the living room. You should have seen JC fly!

8) Dead Mouse Pillow from IKEA (I don't see it on their website):

The cats love this pillow. They sleep on it, they lounge on it. It's also good for propping open the patio door:

7) Sachets of catnip from my mom:

The cats go nuts for these little pouches of catnip.

The rub their heads all over it and get them good and slobbery. And then leave them in the hallway so I step on them in the middle of the night and freak out.

6) Lysol Neutra Air Freshmatic:

Cats are stinky. We used to use Glade plug-ins in the cat room, but they were no match for four cats worth of stink. This Lysol automatic air freshener sprays occasionally and helps keep the smell under control.

5) Petco Litter Deoderizer:

There are so many of this kind of product out there but the one I like the best is the PetCo brand. The Arm & Hammer brand creates all kinds of dust and the PetSmart brand smells disgusting. The PetCo brand smells less terrible and spreads out evenly with little fuss or mess.

4) Nature's Miracle Stain Remover:

Unfortunately sometimes there are accidents. Or on purposeses in Carly's case. This cleaner is pretty good at getting the stain and smell out of the carpet. It doesn't have harsh fumes itself. We have two or three spray bottles of it in various rooms of the house.

3) Cat Tree:

We were lucky enough to get this from one of Adam' co-workers. The cats love it. They sleep on the top level, play in the teepee, scratch on the base, and chase each other up and down on it.

2) Le Bistro waterer:

Four cats require a lot of food and a lot of water. This thing holds a gallon of water at a time and refills the bowl as they drink. It can go about a week before it has to be refilled, which is a process that JC enjoys a little too much:

Of course it can get messy if they tip it over, but that's only happened a few times.

1) Litter Locker:

It's a diaper genie for cats. It holds the scoopings from the litter boxes in a relatively stink-free container. I get a week out it with four cats' poo and each bag cartridge lasts about a month. It's very convenient, and while the refills can get expensive, we order in bulk from and it's pretty reasonable.

Of course, the cats generally find happiness in un-pet-specific things.

Like laundry baskets

or ice melting

or a comfy chair

or an empty lunchbox

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I'll have what they're having...

I'd like to be motivated to do great things,

but the cats aren't the best inspiration.

Flash Back – Week in Review:

Monday: You know that children’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Well this was the first day in about 3 months that I came home from work NOT feeling that was how my day had gone. We somehow survived our first SAP month-end process. It’s very different than how we did things in our legacy system, and, at least in my eyes, was a whole lot easier. Or at least it will be once we get the system to give us data that’s not complete crap.

I had dinner waiting in the slow cooker when I got home so I could eat quickly before heading back out for the evening. Yay for planning ahead. I stopped at both the Neenah and Appleton libraries before going to church for bell practice and I still somehow got there ridiculously early. So I sat in the car and took a mini-nap until some of the other ladies showed up. Apparently at some point between the mailing of the schedule and the first practice another ringer was recruited so we’re at full crew now. Except we were missing one person already on this first night of practices. Figures. No shake-ups in ringing positions. One new piece – but it’s a two-octave joke of an adaptation of the middle part of “Jupiter” by Holst. Why would she even be pulling two-octave stuff when she knows we have full three-octave staffing? Anyway. First ringing date is still up in the air – either Oct 10 or later in the month.

Tuesday: Had to fast overnight since both Adam and I had biometric testing bright and early in the morning. Nothing like a good stab with a needle to get your day off on the right foot. My blood pressure behaved itself and I didn’t gush blood this year, so that was good. Our new intern started, although it sounds like I’ll have little to do with what she does. I’ve been appointed the go-to “project girl” and while that gets the mundane daily tasks off my plate for the most part, it also makes me vulnerable to the “I need this yesterday and it’s really important” calls from multiple sources. Good thing I thrive under pressure… I got home after work and was informed that one of Adam’s brake rotors was cracked so he was going to replace it. I mostly stayed out of that, but had to be tool girl for a little while.

Wednesday: Another day that started with poking and prodding - I had my annual doctor visit necessitated by the stupid need for a prescription for birth control pills. But we won’t get into that again. I had originally had an appointment way back in August but they re-scheduled me twice due to “changing schedules.” Ok then. So instead of my awesome 7:15am, I was stuck with 8am. My doctor had recently moved across town to the big Aurora complex so I had no idea where I was going when I got there. I just went in the front entrance, walked to the first desk I saw and said “I have no idea where I’m going, but I’m pretty sure I’m in the wrong place.” Turns out I just had to go down the hall, take an elevator up a few floors, and I’d be in the right place. So that was good. I signed in about 7:45 and was called back about 5 minutes later. You hear that? EARLY!!!

Standard procedure for the most part. My blood pressure was pretty good for the nurse too – no lecture or tracking card this time. We got to talking about supplements and she told me to take additional Vitamin D and Fish Oil. I got lectured about my tetanus shot again…so maybe I’ll go back and get it this time. Then the nurse left and I got ready to settle in to wait for the doctor. I had barely gotten undressed, gowned, and hopped onto the table before she was knocking on the door. I was shocked! Yet more evidence that NPs are the way to go. Breezed through the rest of it (as much as it can be breezed through.) But there are some creepy medical tools out there people. This time she whipped out some fake breast that demonstrates what a lump would feel like. Disturbing. But educational, I suppose. Picked up some information on controlling cholesterol and supplements and called it a day. I was out the door by 8:30. Just amazing.

Then, of course I got to work and had to park in Timbuktu. They really need to work on the parking lot situation. It’s kind of ridiculous.

Wednesday evening we had our first Broadway show at the PAC - South Pacific. We had dinner at Anduzzi's across the street before the show. We also purchased our annual PAC reusable mug. Our seats are third-level right box seats and it sounds as though the other couple in our section are also season-ticket holders so we'll probably get to know them pretty well. They're an older couple and I swear I heard the woman moan every time they had plane and bomb sound effects. In any case, a well done performance. Adam and I disagree about the operatic voice on Emile (I maintain it was spot-on, he thinks it was too much. Although I will admit that every once in a while I was hearing Don Giovanni instead of "Some Enchanted Evening".) We'll miss the next show in November but I think getting season tickets was a good idea still.

Thursday: After all the excitement of the beginning of the week, it was back to boring normal on Thursday. Nothing much to report at work, and the evening was spent trying to catch up on DVR shows and a strange Wednesday schedule.

Friday: It was a rough day at work. Both of my backups were gone, I was pulled into multiple meetings I hadn't anticipated on going to, I was informed that pretty much everyone will be gone to management meetings all next week and they want me to spearhead the second full cycle count in as many weeks. Argh. Add in the usual five jillion emails and Master Data requests and the fact that the IMA meeting next week has become somewhat of a monster and I'm apparently responsible for controlling it and it makes for a stressful day. But I survived.

I got home, made dinner, and we settled in to watch our Thursday shows. I'd like to take this opportunity to tell NBC that they should can the two-hour Apprentice. Too much. Especially since Project Runway is an hour and a half this year. That's 3 1/2 hours right there. Ack! We somehow made it through and then pretty much called it a night.

Saturday: Shopping. Shopping. Every week it seems like our shopping takes more time than it should. This week we stopped at Jersey Bagel though (best bagels I've had yet) so it was slightly less painful. When we got home I spent a good chunk of time prepping IMA stuff. I kid you not when I say it took three hours to print nametags. And it took both Adam and I to get it done. The template was wrong, the printer was pulling the label paper differently than the test page. It was frustrating. But eventually it got done and I'm so over it. Spent the evening watching The White Ribbon so I'm down to two left to watch on my awards list.

Sunday: Today I have a whole list of things to get done before Adam brings Mark and Pat back with him for dinner after golfing. Most of the list is cleaning. I also hope to spend some time on a spreadsheet for work, but I admit that's going to take last priority.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Martha's Top Ten: In the Kitchen

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Not as much as I should lately, but still a good portion of my life has been spent cooking. Here are my top ten things in my current kitchen:

10) IKEA 365+ Dinnerware - especially the side plate:

Just deep enough for all kinds of things. It's perfect for a salad, soup, or pasta. We have the whole set though - dinner plate, salad plate, soup bowl. They're durable and match everything since they're white.

9) Le Gourmet Chef 12 qt stainless steel pot with pasta and steamer inserts:

Good for sealing jars when Adam makes applesauce or pickles, steaming crab legs, cooking pasta or mass amounts of sweet corn.

8) Presto Electric Griddle:

Good for pancakes, bacon, grilled cheese...

7) Cuisinart Toaster Oven Broiler:

Good for garlic bread, quick sandwiches, cinnamon toast in the morning.

6) Cuisinart Panini and Sandwich Press:

We use this a lot for easy paninis. It's quick and pretty much foolproof.

5) George Foreman Grill:

I had one of these in college (but don't tell anyone because those kind of things were banned in the dorms.) It can cook a frozen solid chicken breast in about 10 minutes. It's a wonderful appliance to have around and our go-to housewarming gift.

4) KitchenAid 5-qt stand mixer:

This mixer is amazing and I can't imagine making cookies or cakes without it. It can beat eggs like nobody's business and it works great on doughs as well.

3) This one's a two-fer: Rival 5-qt SmartPot Slow Cooker:

Cuisinart 4-qt Programmable Slow Cooker:

With just two of us I found the 5-qt was too big sometimes (I still use it for big pots of chili or spaghetti sauce and at our parties) so Adam got me the smaller 4-qt which is just perfect sized for us. Both have high/low settings, a timer, and an auto-warm function which is absolutely necessary on CrockPot Monday's since I start it before I go to work and it's usually done before I get home.

2) Tramontina Professional Series Santoku Knife :

This knife can cut anything. It's seriously awesome.

1) Analon Ovation 12" Covered Skillet:

Of course, it looks like they no longer make this item. Go figure. Every time I find something I absolutely love, the manufacturer discontinues it. Boo.

Anyway. This pan is fabulous. Deep enough for sauces, good for searing and cooking chicken breasts, oven-safe, non-stick, heats evenly. My favorite pan for sure.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Closer Look: Martha's DVR

According to our DVR, these are the shows I currently have set up to record. Make your own judgements about what they say about me:

19 Kids and Counting (TLC): I always enjoyed the specials about the Duggars so when they got a regular show I was excited. It's gotten a bit stale this last season with their struggles with a preemie, but it's still fascinating to see how their family works.

Bethenney Getting Married (Bravo): Bethenney was always my favorite housewife on the Real Housewives: NYC so it was fun to see her get her own show chronicling her pregnancy and wedding. Not sure where it's going to go from here, but I'd watch it if they continued filming. She's hilarious.

Community (NBC): I admit it - I have a crush on Joel McHale. But the whole cast of this show is great together. Abed is a great character and his scenes with Troy are the best. Now if only Britta and Pierce were less annoying it would be perfect!

Four Weddings (TLC): This is kind of a self-indulgent series. Four brides attend each others weddings and judge each other. The one judged "the best" gets a fantastic honeymoon. It's fun to watch what other people think of someone else's wedding. We won't go into me judging weddings because we all know how that can turn ugly. (eh, AFM?)

Glee (FOX): I'm a little worried about Season Two for this show. I think they might have gotten a big head with all the awards and great reception it got for the first season. Hopefully they can keep going strong. At least I know there'll be some new songs to download to the iPod!

Hannah Montana (Disney): Laugh if you want, but I like this show. It's winding down and the last episode should be out soon. It reminds me a lot of Lizzie McGuire, and I liked that show too. Helps me feel young...

Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List (Bravo): Yes, she makes dick jokes and is generally offensive, but this past season she really showed she has a desire to make a difference - cervical cancer, gays in the military - she knows how to get people to pay attention. Plus she's hilarious. She's one person I might consider trying to see live if she were to come to the area.

Kendra (E!): When Holly, Bridget, and Kendra left The Girls Next Door I kind of stopped watching that show so I was glad to see that Kendra got a different show. I watched Bridget's beach show on the Travel Channel for a bit, but didn't really get into it or Holly's new show either. But Kendra I can watch. She's become such a different person from who she was on GND. Indulging my voyeuristic side I guess.

Law & Order: SVU (NBC): Still my favorite iteration of the franchise. I'm a little worried though with Benson guesting on the new LA version. Please don't get rid of SVU!!

NCIS (CBS): I still can't believe it took 5 seasons for me to discover this show. I didn't dig the LA version and stopped watching after two or three episodes. Give me Gibbs, Ziva, Tony, Abby, and McGee any day.

Project Runway (Lifetime): I miss the Models of the Runway this year, but so far, so good. Was a little disappointed with some of the "auf-ing"s so far, but my vote lies with pretty much anyone but Gretchen. Ha. Ok, let's go with Mondo. He's a little strange, but I still like him.

Rizzoli & Isles (TNT): It's like L&O meets NCIS. There was even an episode where it was like an former NCIS cast mate reunion. Anyway, overall, it's a good show - just way too predictable. I've been able to call the murderer almost every week about halfway through the show.

Run My Renovation (DIY): Showing my support for cousin Joanie. It's an interesting show and I was totally jealous of the bathroom on this week's episode. Major bathroom envy, seeing how mine is the size of a (small) closet.

RuPaul's Drag U (Logo): A spin-off of Drag Race, this show has real women being "dragulated" by some previous Drag Race contestants to increase self-esteem or solve some other problem in their lives. Intervention through drag! It's a real feel-good show and there's nothing like seeing Pandora Boxx or Shannel get all dragged up.

SNL (NBC): Oh Lord, anything has to be better than last season. Worst episode ever, eh January Jones? I'll stick around until they have Jon Hamm host again. Can't stand him.

Teen Mom (MTV): Another guilty pleasure. Living vicariously through others, I guess, since there's no way this would have ever been me. I'm kind of disturbed by all of these girls' relationships, but I suppose having everything recorded, edited, and played back might blow things out of proportion.

The Apprentice (NBC): As much as I enjoyed the Celebrity version of this show, I'm glad to see it get back to its original roots. You're fired!

The Good Wife (CBS): This show is so well written it's a joy to watch each week. I especially enjoy the enigma that is Kalinda. Oh, and Josh Charles. Heh.

Real Housewives of New York City (Bravo): This last season was tough. I liked the addition of Sonja, but I'll have to see who sticks around for the next season and decide if I want to keep watching it. Cannot stand Kelly. Got tired of "The Countess."

The Whole Truth (ABC): This is a brand new series, starting Sept 22. We'll see what it's like. From it's promo description it sounds kind of like what L&O: Trial by Jury was supposed to be (you know, before it got cancelled.)

So there you go - all the shows I have recorded for me by our DVR. Judge away.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Arts Appreciation

We have our first PAC show of the year this coming week. For the second year in a row, we couldn't find enough shows in their Arts Alive! program for season tickets. But for the first time, we did see the value in getting season tickets for their Broadway Across America program. Shows this year are:

* South Pacific
* A Chorus Line (we're not actually going to this one - it's when we'll be in the the Carolinas, so we gave the tickets to Adam's parents.)
* Wicked (woo! Viewing #2! On my birthday!)
* Beauty and the Beast
* Jersey Boys (we won't be going to this one either - Cheryl had mentioned she wanted to see this one so we'll be giving them our tickets.)

It worked out well with the shows I wanted to see and the shows others were interested in.

I'm keeping my eyes out for other local theater performances. We went to the Attic Theatre's performance of Carousel last month. I think I might have gotten a little spoiled with the great performances put on by the SATC (or whatever it's called now.) The Attic Theatre's show was by no means terrible. It was quite good and the theater itself is pretty new and well set up. I just tend to notice when things go wrong, having grown up surrounded by music and theater. I'm sure no one else notices all the things I notice. It can be kind of distracting. The same thing happens for Adam since he's got such a background in set construction and lighting.

But, all the same, I'd still like to try and support local theater more. Every year I intend to go to UWO's Opera Theatre performance but I always forget and remember about a week after it happened.

One thing I'm not appreciating so much? The clarinet one of the neighbor kids just got. Duck being murdered, anyone? Ugh.

Monday, September 06, 2010


So, holy crap it's September.

I absolutely feel I got robbed of my summer. Oh well, what can you do? Part of being a responsibly employed adult I guess.

In any case, things will be getting back to "normal" pretty soon around here. Bell practices start next Monday (and along with it, crockpot Mondays! Woo!) No new members on the list that I can see so I think we'll still be one short. I'm also not holding my breath that there will be any shake-ups in positions either. I am ever hopeful that Nancy will pull out some new music though. I know I'm not alone in this sentiment but I remain convinced that it's not my place to rock the boat.

The first IMA meeting of the program year is the 21st. It's a special collaborative effort that's been organized by a sub-committee of our chapter. It's a panel discussion about how accountants from different industries and subsets of the profession really ought to get together and talk about things every once in a while. It should be an interesting evening, but it's getting to be a logistical nightmare for my "Director of Meetings" hat to handle. RSVP deadline communication problems, newsletter mishaps. It has the potential to be a great opportunity, but right now it looks like it might also have the potential to be a ginormous disaster. Luckily the rest of the meetings should be back to business as usual.

Our refrigerator is full of appointment notices. I've got my annual poke and prod the week after next. It's already been rescheduled twice so I'm hoping they really mean it this time. Kersch biometric testing is the following day and Adam has agreed to come along this time in the off chance that we want to consolidate to my insurance plan. Carly has a vet appointment on the 24th. But shh, don't tell her.

Uh oh, I think she heard me. This time I'm taking her so it should be a fun time for all involved.

Dentist is a little further down the road. I'm in the process of trying to figure out my flex spending for next year and between the contacts and wisdom teeth surgery, it's getting kind of ridiculous.

I've got a few random days off and some extended holiday time off to burn my vacation for the year. Kind of helped that half the year was blacked out. We've also got a few days down in NC/SC in mid-November. We'll get to check out Evan and Jodi's new digs and hopefully get to interact with Caroline. She'll be past her "I hate everyone" phase, right? Nothing much else in the works.

And as a random conclusion to this post, I give you Ted, in various strange positions:

Conked out in the sun. He actually does sleep like this on a regular basis. In fact, so does JC.

Squished up on the side of the chair next to the mouse. I'm not sure why he did this - it's not like he doesn't lay on the mouse all the time anyway.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

What I did on my Summer Vacation...

1) Celebrated Three
Years, that is:

It just so happened that our anniversay fell smack dab in the middle of SAP GoLive so we couldn't really go anywhere or whoop it up. We went out to dinner, swapped cards (and golf balls, and jewelry.) We met up with my dad and Cheryl a week or so later and that's about the extent of our celebration.

2) Worked. A lot.
I had some crazy hours these past few months. Most notably one 2pm to 2am and one 5pm to 7:15am. Those sucked big time. Everything else was pretty ok. Some later nights, some skipped lunches. Ok, a lot of skipped lunches. The end of July and beginning of August were awful. Then it calmed down a little. The last week of August and right up to yesterday were also awful. This past Thursday was especially hellish. Things probably won't get better until the end of this coming week. Or ever. But I'm keeping the faith.

I understand that the implementation of a new ERP system is not supposed to be fun. But after four tries, you'd think they'd have worked some of the bugs out. I'm not going to go into it or complain here since it doesn't do anyone any good. Let's just say it could have gone better.

I traded in my desktop for a laptop about a month ago and they gave me VPN access so I can work from home. Of course, this is both a positive and a negative, me being the workaholic I am. I mean, I'm already thinking about work all the time. A vast majority of my dreams for the past two months have been about SAP. It can't be healthy, but I do what I can to avoid checking my email at night or on weekends. I've only brought the computer home three or four times so far. It was really nice this past Monday to have the option of working from home though.

3) Lost too many people.
Granted, even one death is too many. Unfortunately Adam's family lost two members this summer. His grandmother passed away in May and then, more recently, his cousin, Brett. I didn't write anything about it because I was tired and busy, but it also didn't seem to be my place to discuss it. I'm still going to leave it mostly alone. It's a delicate situation and I think the best thing is to let time heal.

4) Spent too much time at the hospital
Once again, any time at the hospital is too much, in my opinion. I don't know that I wrote about this at all on this blog, but it was a rough summer. Adam's mother spent quite a bit of time in the hospital when they discovered a tumor in her brain. She's doing great now, but it was really scary for a while. Once again, I didn't think it was my place to put it all out there at the time. I'm incredibly grateful that everything seems to have worked out.

5) Discovered some fabulous new restaurants
One side benefit of coming home completely exhausted every day was that we went out to eat a lot more than we usually do. We found out that the Old 41 Diner here in Neenah is an excellent place for breakfast. It's small, classic diner-looking, and the food is fabulous. We also went out to Oink's for breakfast once. Not as good as Old 41, but just the decor won me over. The entire place is full of pig figurines and kitchsy pig stuff. Kind of embarassing to admit, but I saw more than a few things that I used to have in my apartment. What can I say, I'm a fan of pigs and cows... Our most recently discovery was a bar and grill in downtown Neenah called 5 Generations. Great food, good drink specials, nice people. We'll definitely be going back there again.

6) Did absolutely nothing educationally redeeming
Time not spent at work or thinking about work was mostly spent vegging out in front of the TV or with my nose in a book. I've made some headway on my Oscar list - almost done at this point. Made it out to the Drive-In once this season. Haven't been to the movie theater in ages. TV-wise, I enjoyed Bethanny Getting Married and am currently wrapped up in the current season of Project Runway. I'm also four episodes into Season One of Pushing Daisies thanks to Netflix. I'd found a new series of mysteries that I'm working through - currently on the third book. I'm also knocking off the Den of Antiquity series and am almost through all the Pennsylvania Dutch series from Tamar Myers.

7) Went to two baseball games. No really.
I still maintain that baseball is a totally boring game.

We went to a Timber Rattlers game with the IMA back in July and Adam took me to my first Brewers game last Sunday. From the perspective of a non-baseball fan, the Timber Rattlers were much more entertaining. They have all kinds of stuff going on between innings. Too much blantant advertising for my liking though. The Brewer game was ok, but it was HOTT. Yes, so hot it needed two "t"s. It was 94 degrees out and even though we were in the shade, it was brutal. I don't know that I'd go back to a Brewers game, but I wouldn't be averse to going to another Timber Rattlers one. The main thing I don't get is that Adam always leaves before the game is over to beat traffic. I mean, ok, so the score is 8-4 and there's an inning left. They'll probably win. But it's like going to see Hamlet and leaving after Act 4, because, hey, everyone's going to die anyway. But whatever.

Next up - looking forward to fall. But first, this excellently bad action shot of JC and Ted: